The best of our books published in 2021, chosen by book influencers

Everyone's got their own 2021 book favourites, but here we find out which new books topped the list of four of our favourite bibliophiles.

Books have been around for over a thousand years, but new ways of talking about them are always popping up to give readers the chance to share their passion for page-turning. Instagram, TikTok and YouTube have now become home to a community of book lovers that has grown so large they've named themselves 'Bookstagram', 'BookTok' and 'BookTube'. These unique, social media bookworms provide their wealth of bookish knowledge and hidden-gem recommendations to tens of thousands of avid readers looking for their next literary fix. 

We asked four of our favourite influencers for their top pick of 2021 so far – read on to discover how you could win all four recommendations!

The Four Winds

Book cover for The Four Winds

Chosen by @whatsallyreadnext a.k.a. Sally

"A beautifully written novel featuring powerful female characters, The Four Winds is a must-read for both existing Kristin Hannah fans and those new to her work. I loved reading about the main character Elsa, the struggles she faces raising her family alone and the woman she becomes, while she navigates through life during the Great Depression in the mid-1930s as the Dust Bowl era arrives. 

The strong development of relationships between women (and in this case, between Elsa and her daughter) is the recurring theme of Kristin Hannah's books and that's what I love about them."

A picture of Sally Lau

Sally was the London Book Fair's Bookstagrammer of the Year 2020, and despite her never-ending TBR list she is currently 21 books ahead of her 55-book reading challenge this year, so it's safe to say she knows her stuff! Outside of Bookstagram, she sings in a choir for musicals and organises meet-ups for book-lovers in London. Follow her on Instagram and Goodreads.


Book cover for Brood

Chosen by @excusemyreading a.k.a. Ova 

"If you told me last year that I would be amazed by a book that seemed purely about chickens, I would have laughed. Well, that was before I read Brood.

Brood is honest, funny and sad at the same time. The narrator doesn’t have any concerns to allure us, the readers, she’s just telling her story. I will never forget her, and how she reflected her feelings through chickens.

And I wish I was friends with Jackie Polzin, that's how much I loved her style and writing. Read Brood. Gift it to your good friends. Keep it in your library. It’s a treasure."

Picture of Ova Ceren holding a pile of books

A self-professed half-woman, half-book from Cambridge; Ova is a software developer, book lover and avid hoarder of all things pretty. To her thousands of followers, Ova has been blogging about bookshops, book cover battles and everyday struggles since 2018. You can follow her on Instagram and on Twitter

Tokyo Ever After

by Emiko Jean

Book cover for Tokyo Ever After

Chosen by @irishreader_, a.k.a. Kevin

"Tokyo Ever After is such a wholesome and heartwarming read, reminiscent of The Princess Diaries. This book follows our main character, Izumi, who discovers her father is the prince of Japan. Izumi then sets out to Japan to meet her father for the first time and enter her new royal lifestyle. The reason I’ve chosen this book is because I enjoyed reading about Izumi’s struggle with being Japanese-American and not feeling like she belongs in any one place. The development of Izumi and her father’s relationship is also beautiful to read, as we see them begin to establish their long-lost father and daughter connection."

Picture of Kevin

Book-tuber and tea-drinker, Kevin hails unsurprisingly from Ireland and has been vlogging book reviews for over six years! Reviewing books and showing off his latest book hauls, Kevin's videos reach every book-nerd in a different way – including his particularly notable rainbow bookshelf. Follow him on Instagram, YouTube and Goodreads.

She Who Became The Sun

Book cover for She Who Became The Sun

Chosen by @fictionalfates a.k.a. Joel

"Whilst reading She Who Became The Sun, I was stunned by the gorgeous atmosphere and the explorations of gender, both through the identity and roles within society. I, for one, am a massive fan of when authors don't shy away from hurting their characters, and Parker-Chan fulfills those desires and so much more! I had such a great time reading this book, and I'm so excited to see what the sequel has to offer! She Who Became The Sun was one of my most anticipated reads for 2021, and now it is one of my favourites."

Picture of Joel holding up a stack of books

Joel is a student, writer, vlogger and a self-titled Prince of Stories. From brand-new fiction to making guides for writing your own poetry, Joel also hosts the monthly Late Night Book Club. Having started book-tubing in 2020, the fictionalfates YouTube channel has seen a meteoric rise in popularity over the last year, driven by chaotic book hauls and hilarious reviews. You can also follow Joel on Instagram, Twitter and Goodreads.


Want to be in with a chance of winning all four books? Just fill out the form below to enter our giveaway.

The giveaway opens on 25 October at 06:00 a.m. and closes on 31 October 2021 at 23:59 p.m. Open to UK residents only. Entrants must be 18+. Terms and conditions apply.

This competition has now closed.